Soft Dollars and Best Execution
Fund directors have a duty to oversee fund trading practices and use of brokerage commissions, including the manner in which fund advisers fulfill their obligation to seek “best execution” when trading portfolio securities. Boards oversee advisers’ use of brokerage commissions and the overall transaction costs that funds incur when buying or selling portfolio securities. Some fund advisers use brokerage commissions generated by their fund’s securities transactions to pay for research and related services from broker-dealers. This practice, known as using “soft dollars,” is regularly reviewed by directors.